By Nicholas Godfrey
UAE: Connections of Dubai Sheema Classic favourite Chrono Genesis are planning a world tour with the star Japanese mare later this year with both the Arc and Breeders’ Cup on the agenda.
Covid-19 restrictions will not deter owner-breeders Northern Farm and trainer Takashi Saito who are both keen to test the five-year-old against overseas opposition, with France and the US at the top of the agenda.
First, though, the three-time G1 winner starts off at Meydan on Saturday, when the daughter of Arc winner Bago is Ladbrokes’ 2-1 favourite for the $5 million Sheema Classic ahead of Saudi Cup winner Mishriff.
Yasuhiro Matsumoto, representative of owner-breeders Northern Farm (Sunday Racing), was supervising Sheema preparations at Meydan on Monday.
“Our main target is to go overseas,” he said. “We are planning to have a global tour, such as France and America this autumn, so this is obviously a good opportunity to have a travelling experience for her, a practice.
“Our biggest option will be the Arc but we will target the races that Northern Farm has never won before and she is the sort of filly who can compete well in those sorts of races.”
A Classic winner at three, Chrono Genesis recorded a thumping six-length victory in a heavy-ground edition of the G1 Takarazuka Kinen in June last year over 1m3f at Hanshin before justifying strong favouritism in the Arima Kinen, Japan’s end-of-season grand prix at Nakayama in which she faced seven fellow G1 winners.
On Monday, she was kept ticking over at Meydan as she cantered one and a half laps under regular exercise rider Yasunaga Wada.
“She has been very relaxed and seems to be happy with the new surroundings here,” added Matsumoto.
“As you know, a number of Japanese horses come to compete in Dubai every year, so even for her who has shipped outside of Japan for the first time, the travel has been quite easy.
“The race will be a more competitive field than expected with the Saudi Cup winner Mishriff, but I believe she has the same class as Almond Eye and Gentildonna, who both won in Dubai, so she must run well in the race.
“She is a very versatile type of horse – I think she is very talented and can compete and win the race.”
Chrono Genesis will be ridden by Yuichi Kitamura in Saturday’s $5m contest, which as well as Mishriff features Ballydoyle’s Hong Kong Vase winner Mogul, US turf champ Channel Maker and Chrono Genesis’s fellow Japanese Classic winner Loves Only You, the mount of Oisin Murphy.
Mishriff’s John Gosden-trained stable companion Lord North is Ladbrokes’ 9-4 market leader for the Dubai Turf ahead of Lord Glitters, who is seeking his third victory at Meydan this year.
Sheema Classic betting (Ladbrokes): 2 Chrono Genesis, 9-4 Mishriff, 5 Mogul, 9 Channel Maker, Walton Street, 10 Loves Only You, 14 Star Safari, 33 Berkshire Rocco, Dubai Future, 66 Simsir.
Dubai Turf (Ladbrokes): 9-4 Lord North, 5-2 Lord Glitters, 7-2 Al Suhail, 8 Regal Reality, 14 Eqtiraan, Vin De Garde, 20 Felix, 25 bar.
Dubai World Cup (Ladbrokes): 11-4 Mystic Guide, 9-2 Military Law, 5 Jesus’ Team, 11-2 Salute The Soldier, 10 Hypothetical, Sleepy Eyes Todd, 12 Magny Cours, 16 Great Scot, 20 Chuwa Wizard, 25 Ajuste Fiscal, Title Ready, 33 bar.